Pine Tree Root Systems: All You Want To Know

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People like pine trees for their generous shade. However, not everything about them is the holiday spirit. A lot of people don’t distinguish between pine tree roots. And the consequences they have on their surroundings. That’s why we must have some knowledge on this matter.

What are the pine tree root systems?

Pine tree root systems follow the root system of taproots. Firstly, these pine trees have two kinds of roots. These are fine roots and coarse roots. Fine roots develop down up to around the first six inches from the soil. Coarse roots go distant below into the earth.

But there is more to know about than just this. Lucky for you we’ve got it entirely covered. Just stay with us till the end.

So don’t waste time anymore. Let’s get started!

Pine Trees’ Roots

Usually, the pine tree matures to an extent of 4 to 10 feet. Pine trees are evergreen conifers that have needle-like leaves that are seen green all year.

Pine trees relate to the Gymnosperms class. Which holds cycads and ginkgo trees as well as conifers. Their seeds lack fruits and ovaries.

Pine cones have scales on their structure. Pines are members of the Panacea family and belong to the genus Pinus. This has 126 species.

Pine tree roots are comparable to other tree roots. From the perspective of growing in a taproot system. The seedling of the pine creates the main root. This subsequently grows into multiple lateral roots. These are known as secondary roots. They function similarly to all other root systems.

Fine roots and coarse roots are the two varieties of roots seen in pine trees. The details are as follows-

Fine roots

In the first year of plant development, these roots can grow on the topsoil layer. The dimension can be around 6 inches of the top layer. These roots are delicate and sensitive, as the name implies. They begin as fine roots and are eventually replaced by coarse roots.

Coarse Roots

After one year of growth, coarse roots mostly replace fine roots. Pine tree roots, like taproots, can develop deeper in the soil if the tree is alive. This thick root is referred to as the primary root. It also splits into secondary roots, which are lateral roots.

If you want to help the roots get adequate water, here’s a fast tip. Remove the root base from the foundation to a distance of three feet. Especially when the water is diverted away from the foundation by downspouts.

Roots and Their Anatomy

The following root components are visible in the dissected portion:

  • Vascular bundles 
  • Epidermis 
  • Cortex 
  • Vascular bundles 

When calculating the root spread of unbarred trees, the trunk diameter is useful. Small trees have a trunk-to-root radius ratio of less than eight. And verified research shows that the trunk-to-root radius ratio is 38.

However, this changes depending on the variety of soil. The presence of palm trees, the age of the trees, and the amount of compaction in the soil. All of these constituents lay an impact on the root regularity of pine trees.

Dump the root base to three meters from the ground. This will help roots to obtain enough water. Especially when downspouts redirect the water away from the foundation.

Shallow roots of all sorts can develop in the direction of the water. But the intensity and extent of their growth are decided by the soil variety. But I’m looking at the root system of a white pine tree, which may grow to be 100 feet tall and twenty feet wide.

Do not prune the tree until you have determined where the shallow roots will lead. As a result, you should only chop one of them within a few feet of the trunk. Since it can only destroy 25% of the root system.

If there are pine trees near your house, they can do a lot of harm to the foundation. Therefore removing the roots would be the best option to save it. If you wish to remove the roots of a pine tree, don’t cut more than 20% of the roots above ground.

Growth Of Pine Tree Roots

Roots can spread two or three times the width of the drip line. This is the most distant point from the tree where foliage emerges.

Pine trees aren’t notable for having invasive root systems. But when the earth is dry, roots will seek water. The roots can be harmed if you don’t have a proper discharge system of water softener.

The majority of roots develop in the upper foot (30 cm) of the soil.

In research, the root radius to trunk diameter ratio for young trees was around 38 to 1. By young trees, it’s meant less than roughly 8 in (20 cm) in diameter. This varies depending on the soil type, compacted soil, older trees, and palm trees.

The only method to be sure is to test and study more about these strategies for yourself:

If you have downspouts, they should be led away from your support. Draining it two or three feet away from your foundation arouses roots to seek water. Use a four-inch PVC pipe to redirect the water as distant as feasible. Or, our individual choice, use a four-inch perforated drain pipe with a sleeve. It will do excellent for this job.

Because the roots are near to the surface, use a spade to examine. Check for roots by digging a six-inch-deep slit trench between your foundation and the tree. You can fix a physical boundary between the tree and the foundation if there are any.

Pine Roots Removal

Dig beneath and around the roots with a shovel to expose them. 6 to 12 inches of the root should be dug out. Along with the roots that have already developed, dig up to the point where the root emerges. Make sure there’s enough room to cut the root using a handsaw or chainsaw.

Using heavy gear, dig the stump out of the earth. You’ll have a hard time accomplishing it if you have numerous felled pine trees to deal with.

If you don’t have the gear that you need to rip off the stumps, we’ve got you. Here’s where you can find them:

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These are very effective and popular in this line. They also have very good reviews.

So that’s all! We’ve told you everything that we could gather about pine tree root systems. Also, did you know pine trees are very good wood for stair risers?


Question: How far away from a home should a pine tree be?

Answer: Big trees over 70 feet tall should be located at least 20 feet apart from the house. Small trees under 30 feet tall should be seeded 8 to 10 feet away from the house. And medium-sized trees up to 50 feet tall should be planted 15 feet away.

Question: Do pine trees have extensive root systems?

Answer: Pine trees do, in fact, have deep roots. They have deep roots in the same way as shallow roots do. Pine tree root regularities can be as superficial as 12 inches or less beneath the earth surface.

Question: Do pine trees damage foundations?

Answer: Pine tree roots seldom cause foundation damage. Because their root systems mostly grow downward rather than outward. Pine tree roots will only enter a foundation if it is already damaged or broken. Or if the tree is too close to the home.

Winding Up

Now you should’ve grown a clear idea about pine tree root systems. Did you know- pine tree root systems can be one of the most destructive forces on earth? 

Well, if you have any further inquiries about pine tree root systems, feel free to reach out. We’ll try to find you a solution.

Till then, all the best!

Richard Allen